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05-03-07, 08:16 PM #1
Judge abuses the system-Tort reform NOW!
Judge sues for $65 million over pants |
2 years of litigation x 1 pair of trousers = headaches for family business
The Associated Press
Updated: 2:33 p.m. ET May 3, 2007
WASHINGTON - The Chungs, immigrants from South Korea, realized their American dream when they opened their dry-cleaning business seven years ago in the nation's capital.
For the past two years, however, they've been dealing with the nightmare of litigation: a $65 million lawsuit over a pair of missing pants.
Jin Nam Chung, Ki Chung and their son, Soo Chung, are so disheartened that they're considering moving back to Seoul, said their attorney, Chris Manning, who spoke on their behalf.
"They're out a lot of money, but more importantly, incredibly disenchanted with the system," Manning said. "This has destroyed their lives."
The lawsuit was filed by a District of Columbia administrative hearings judge, Roy Pearson, who has been representing himself in the case.
Pearson said he could not comment on the case.
According to court documents, the problem began in May 2005 when Pearson became a judge and brought several suits for alteration to Custom Cleaners in Northeast Washington, a place he patronized regularly despite previous disagreements with the Chungs. A pair of pants from one suit was not ready when he requested it two days later, and was deemed to be missing. (By who? The ass munch judge?)
Pearson asked the cleaners for the full price of the suit: more than $1,000. (Judges get paid too much)
But a week later, the Chungs said the pants had been found and refused to pay. That's when Pearson decided to sue.
Three settlement offers
Manning said the cleaners made three settlement offers to Pearson. First they offered $3,000, then $4,600, then $12,000. But Pearson wasn't satisfied and expanded his calculations beyond one pair of pants. (What a greedy M-F'er)
Because Pearson no longer wanted to use his neighborhood dry cleaner, part of his lawsuit calls for $15,000 — the price to rent a car every weekend for 10 years to go to another business.
"He's somehow purporting that he has a constitutional right to a dry cleaner within four blocks of his apartment," Manning said.
But the bulk of the $65 million comes from Pearson's strict interpretation of D.C.'s consumer protection law, which fines violators $1,500 per violation, per day. According to court papers, Pearson added up 12 violations over 1,200 days, and then multiplied that by three defendants.
Much of Pearson's case rests on two signs that Custom Cleaners once had on its walls: "Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Same Day Service."
Judge alleges fraud
Based on Pearson's dissatisfaction and the delay in getting back the pants, he claims the signs amount to fraud.
Pearson has appointed himself to represent all customers affected by such signs, though D.C. Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz, who will hear the June 11 trial, has said that this is a case about one plaintiff, and one pair of pants.
Sherman Joyce, president of the American Tort Association, has written a letter to the group of men who will decide this week whether to renew Pearson's 10-year appointment. Joyce is asking them to reconsider.
Chief Administrative Judge Tyrone Butler had no comment regarding Pearson's reappointment.
The association, which tries to police the kind of abusive lawsuits that hurt small businesses, also has offered to buy Pearson the suit of his choice. (So what, he enjoys harassing these poor working stiffs)
Support for the defendants
And former National Labor Relations Board chief administrative law judge Melvin Welles wrote to The Washington Post to urge "any bar to which Mr. Pearson belongs to immediately disbar him and the District to remove him from his position as an administrative law judge." (I second that motion!)
"There has been a significant groundswell of support for the Chungs," said Manning, adding that plans for a defense fund Web site are in the works.
To the Chungs and their attorney, one of the most frustrating aspects of the case is their claim that Pearson's gray pants were found a week after Pearson dropped them off in 2005. They've been hanging in Manning's office for more than a year.
Pearson claims in court documents that his pants had blue and red pinstripes.
"They match his inseam measurements. The ticket on the pants match his receipt," Manning said.
05-03-07, 08:45 PM #2
I have a pair of striped pants that he can wear, but they are orange and white....
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly. - Lovelace
The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.
05-03-07, 09:00 PM #3
This shit boggles my mind."If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970
The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.
05-04-07, 12:46 AM #4\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
`` ` ` ` (3--(____)
"...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
05-04-07, 01:46 AM #5
Why has this not been thrown out as frivolous since the pants and matching tag are known to be in his office ?????
05-04-07, 02:40 AM #6
05-04-07, 02:49 AM #7
wow... sounds like an episode of The Sopranos...-=Twan007
Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in alignment with his employer. Matter of fact, the poster will deny any knowledge of any post... this message will self-destruct in 5 seconds...
05-04-07, 04:02 AM #8
what an ass" The hardest thing about disarming an armed suspect is not slipping on your own shit "
Michael P. Gordon E.O.W 08 Aug 2004
The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are MY PERSONAL OPINIONS and I accept sole responsibility as such.
05-04-07, 04:12 AM #9
Talk about self-righteous and overbearing
05-04-07, 07:45 AM #10
WTF do you expect from a scumbag lawyer. The bad thing though, is that some Jury will award him what he wants. Thats the sad thing.
05-04-07, 06:51 PM #11
06-25-07, 03:20 PM #12
UPDATE: Defendants won, the plaintiff must pay all legal fees!
WASHINGTON - A judge ruled Monday in favor of a dry cleaner that was sued for $54 million over a missing pair of pants.
The owners of Custom Cleaners did not violate the city's Consumer Protection Act by failing to live up to Roy L. Pearson's expectations of the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sign once displayed in the store window, District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff ruled.
Bartnoff ordered Pearson to pay the court costs of defendants Soo Chung, Jin Nam Chung and Ki Y. Chung.
Story continues below ↓advertisement
Pearson, an administrative law judge, originally sought $67 million from the Chungs, claiming they lost a pair of suit trousers and later tried to give him a pair that he said was not his. He arrived at the amount by adding up years of alleged law violations and almost $2 million in common law claims.
Pearson later dropped demands for damages related to the pants and focused his claims on signs in the shop, which have since been removed.
Chris Manning, the Chungs' attorney, argued that no reasonable person would interpret the signs to mean an unconditional promise of satisfaction.
The Chungs said the trial had taken an enormous financial and emotional toll on them and exposed them to widespread ridicule.
The two-day trial earlier this month drew a standing-room-only crowd and overshadowed the drunken driving trial of former Mayor Marion Barry............................................
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